The Good, the Bad and the Mexico-Queretaro TrainBy Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Mon, 12/21/2020 - 09:14
The Mexico-Queretaro train is an ambitious project that wants to offer more connectivity between the city of Queretaro and Mexico City, as of today the project is bound to start construction in June 2021, a topic MBN has reported in the past. . The project offers opportunities, as it enables more communication and commercial exchange for both cities and encourages economic development and competitivity. The project will have a MX $51.3 million (US$2.56 million) investment. and will be implemented through a concession. Chinese companies are interested in this project, as well as two other suburban train projects in Monterrey and Guanajuato, reports El Economista.
Margarita Luna, Associate of Cal y Mayor, explains in T21 why this concession project is non-viable:
- A high-velocity train is considered a transportation infrastructure that competes with aerial transportation. It is particularly competitive in distances between 400km and 800km, particularly if it goes through really dense populations. The distance between Mexico City and Queretaro is around 200 km, making this project not only complicated to implement but also expensive for consumers, where subsidies will be necessary to maintain competitiveness.
- High-velocity technology is extremely expensive, particularly in terms of design. There are only three runners that have been financially profitable: Tokio-Osaka, Paris-Lyon and Jinan-Qingdao. As a result, investments are made with public resources, as is in this case.
Luna mentions that in order to guarantee the viability of the project, it would be better to turn it into a regional train, which would also enable profitability. Now, the project offers great advantages for both Mexico City and Queretaro. Luna believes the project could push a deeper regional economic integration between Mexico City, Queretaro and surrounding cities. In addition, it is an investment that helps decarbonization in Mexico. Due to rails being much less polluting in comparison to cars, and it is designed to promote passenger mobility. The project also has the possibility to be implemented with electric traction, which would guarantee fewer greenhouse emissions.
Finally, the train could help prevent more high-way accidents in the area, something, common in the Mexico-Queretaro Highway. Last year, the Mexican Institute of Transportation (IMT), released its Annual Statistics Report of Accidents in Federal Highways, and reported a total of 295 collisions in the Mexico-Queretaro Highway, making it one of the highways with the most accidents in the country.